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Dreamcatcher Offers Online “Meet the Artist” New Play Readings

Presented as part of New Jersey Theatre Alliance Stages Festival in May.

Dreamcatcher Offers Online “Meet the Artist” New Play Readings

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, professional Theatre in Residence at the Oakes Center in Summit, will present its annual Meet the Artist new play reading series on Wednesdays, May 5, 12, 19 and 26. All readings will take place on Zoom at 7 pm, and require advance registration.

This event is part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance 2021 Stages Festival, made possible by support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; Bank of America; The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey; OceanFirst Foundation; the George A. Ohl, Jr. Trust; New Jersey Historical Commission; and Fund for the New Jersey Blind. www.njtheatrealliance.org/stages

The new play reading series is a chance for the audience to participate in the development of new works, both to hear the plays read by professional actors and also to discuss the projects with the playwright, director and actors afterward. There will be an opportunity for the audience to provide feedback to the team after every performance.

On May 5, Dreamcatcher will present Aly Kantor's Occupied. From 9/11 to the pandemic, Amelia and Jac have been best friends who share everything with each other. As the play hopscotches from one American tragedy to the next, the two girls turn into women. They try to understand how their own lives fit into the history of our time from the perspective of a series of bathroom stalls over the years. Comedic, heartfelt and true, Occupied traces the path of this generation through a personal lens.

Occupied features actors Jennica Carmona (West Orange) and Emaline Williams (Hackettstown). Aly Kantor is an emerging New York based playwright, performer, and educator with a passion for telling off-beat tales, with an explicit focus on writing complex and genuine roles for women and girls. A lover of the artform of theatre in particular, Aly prides herself on having done just about every job there is to do on, around, or in the general vicinity of a stage. In the year 2021, Aly has seen her work developed and produced by EastLine Theatre (Adventurers Anonymous), Full Circle Theatre Collaborative (After Aulis), Theatre Off-Kilter (Occupied), and Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble (Two of Every Animal).

On May 12, Dreamcatcher will present Twirl by Joe Sutton. When staunch conservative Justice Thomas Adams is nominated for the position of Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, his wife Pat worries that the same incendiary testimony that arose during his initial confirmation might emerge again. When she contacts Ashley Duncan, the source of the information, her motives are less than clear. Is she hoping to eliminate her as a threat, or is she looking for an ally?

Twirl features actors Clark Carmichael (Montclair), Uma Paranjpe (New York), Harriett Trangucci (Summit) and Lori Vega (New York). Joe Sutton's plays include Voir Dire (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the Best Play Award of the American Theatre Critics Association), As It Is In Heaven, The Third Army, and Restoring the Sun. Theatres producing Joe's plays include New York Theater Workshop, Long Wharf, Arena Stage, BAM, the Cleveland Play House, and the Old Globe. Some time ago, Joe's play Complicit (winner of the Beverly Hills Theater Guild award) opened at London's Old Vic and is now playing around the world, most recently at Heidelberg's Zimmertheater.

More recently, Joe's play Orwell In America premiered at Northern Stage before continuing on to a successful run at 59E59. Last year, Joe's play Robey was workshopped by Premiere Stages where it will have its premiere in the 2021-22 season. In addition to his theatre work, Joe has developed a pilot for television called Scales of Justice (USA Network). A recipient of numerous awards and honors, among them fellowships from NYFA, the NEA, and NJ Arts, Joe taught playwriting for many years at Dartmouth College. Joe lives with his wife Anne at their home in West Orange, New Jersey.

On May 19, Dreamcatcher will present Hitch by James McLindon. Lane, a white man in his 30's picks up a teenage hitchhiker, Dee, and quickly discovers that all of his preconceived notions about this bi-racial young woman are wrong ... about as wrong as all of her preconceived notions about him. Together, they each have to discover where the other has been, and decide where they themselves are going, and in the process form, to their surprise, a temporary family.

Hitch features actors Daria M. Sullivan (Montclair) and Jason Szamreta (Rahway). James McLindon is a member of the Nylon Fusion Theater Co. in New York. When We Get Good Again won the Playhouse on the Square's New Works @ The Works competition and premiered there in Memphis this past January, winning an Ostrander Theatre Award for Best Original Script. His play, Salvation, was developed at PlayPenn and premiered in New York, Giovanna Sardelli directing, to critical acclaim in the New York Times and elsewhere. Comes a Faery was developed at the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, Sean Daniels directing, was a finalist for the Humana Festival, and was premiered at the New Ohio Theatre by Nylon Fusion.

Mr. McLindon's plays have been developed and/or produced at theaters such as the O'Neill (selection and six-time semifinalist), PlayPenn, Victory Gardens, Lark, Abingdon, hotINK Festival, Irish Repertory, Samuel French Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, New Rep, Lyric Stage, Boston Playwrights, Local Theatre, Telluride Playwrights Festival, Great Plains Theatre Conference, and Seven Devils. His plays have been published by Dramatic Publishing, Smith & Kraus, Brooklyn Publishing, and Applause Books and produced all over the world including London, Edinburgh, Ireland, Australia, the Philippines, Thailand, Luxembourg, India, Dubai and Estonia.

On May 26, Dreamcatcher presents Emma Gibson's Water in My Hands. Sorrel is busy preparing for her wedding even though her fiancé has just died, and Maria's eyebrows are still not growing back. Gerry wants to know if the weather will improve so that he can lie on his back in the grass, and Eric's wife has someone else's heart beating inside her. Through a series of interweaving accounts, Water in My Hands, lays bare the power of grief, and asks, 'how do we move on when we are haunted by the life that we have not yet lived?'

Water in My Hands features actors Neimah Djourabchi (Irvington), Becca McLarty (Montclair), Scott McGowan (Maplewood), Kevin Sebastian (New York) and Joelle Zazz (Union). Emma Gibson is a British theatre-maker, now living in Philadelphia. She has an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Southampton. In the UK she worked as an actress and a freelance journalist for The Guardian Newspaper. She moved to Philadelphia in 2006 and has worked with many local companies, most recently performing in the Barrymore-nominated production of Perfect Blue. She teaches theatre at The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA and was the founding producing artistic director of Tiny Dynamite (www.tinydynamite.org).

Her plays have been selected for the 2020 PlayPenn Conference, Philadelphia Women's Theatre Festival, Spooky Action New Works in Development, The Liz Smith Reading Series with Miranda Theatre Company and Digital Theatre shorts. She was recently announced as the winner of The Pittsburgh Public Theater's inaugural new play competition. She has been a finalist for Premiere Stages at Kean 2020, a finalist for Kitchen Dog's New Works Festival 2020 and a semi-finalist for the O'Neill New Play Conference 2020. She was also in the top 100 for the Verity Bargate Award at The Soho Theatre, UK, and on the long list for The International Playwriting Award with Theatre 503, UK. Her Poetry has been published by Willowdown Books (Poems from the Lockdown) and Indolent Books (What Rough Beast).

All readings will be held on Zoom at 7 pm, and advance registration is required. Admission is $10, and tickets can be purchased at www.dreamcatcherrep.org. A link to the performance will be sent after purchase. For information on any of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre's programs, please contact Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre at the Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901, 908-514-9654, www.DreamcatcherRep.org.



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